July 31, 2013

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival To Feature Fashion Show, Live Auction on Saturday

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival will feature a fashion show and live auction, featuring some of the rarest Lucille Ball memorabilia and most high-end designers, at the Jamestown Gateway Train Station on Saturday, Aug. 3, at noon.
Registration for the auction will begin that morning at 11:15 a.m.
The event will begin with a fashion show featuring items from the collection of Melody Thomas Scott, star of Young and the Restless.

Some of the world's most famous designers will be represented in the showcase, including Christian Dior, Betsey Johnson, Dolce and Gabbana, Prada, Bob Mackie, Gucci, Monolo Blahnik, Donna Karen, Issac Mizrahi and many more. All dresses will be available to purchase during the live auction.
Dresses will be worn by various past participants of the Lakewood area Distinguished Young Women series, including 2013 participants Veronica Schuver, Olivia Nugent, Alyssa Leathers, and Allison Munella.
Following the fashion show, a live auction featuring some of the rarest Lucille Ball memorabilia will take place.
Memorabilia from Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz that will be auctioned includes:
1. Lucille Ball's red velvet dress from Mame.
2. Lucille Ball's pink sequined costume from the first episode of The Milton Berle Show.
3. Lucille Ball's Charlie Chaplin costume (jacket and pants) from "The Lucy Show" episode, "Chris' New Year's Eve Party."
4. Lucille Ball's monogramed sewing case with initials engraved and sewing supplies enclosed.
5. The Lucy Plate by Danbury Mint (one of 100 in existence).
6. Collection of two clear glass ashtrays from Lucille Ball's Beverly Hills home.
7. 1956 TV Stage magazine with Lucy and Desi on the cover (mounted).
8. Original Two Smart People (1946) movie poster starring Lucille Ball and John Hodiak.
At the conclusion of the event, winners of the silent auction (which will take place throughout the weekend) will also be announced.
Rare dolls from Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint along with items personally donated by Gregg Oppenheimer, son of "I Love Lucy" creator Jess Oppenheimer, will be available to bid on during the festival.
Bids can be made by telephone or email, but need to be arranged by contacting the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy at 716-484-0800 or info@lucy-desi.com by Thursday.
For more information on the live auction and fashion show, along with other festival performers including Bill Engvall, Kathleen Madigan, "Comics to Watch," the GIs of Comedy and much more, visit lucycomedyfest.com.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Surpasses Lucille Ball's Emmy Record History

We all love Lucy, but when it comes to Emmy nominations, Julia Louis-Dreyfus finally has the iconic comedienne beat.

On Thursday, the erstwhile Seinfeld star made Emmy history when she received her 14th Emmy nomination in the category of outstanding lead actress in a comedy series, surpassing the record long-held by I Love Lucy star – and enduring TV favorite – Lucille Ball.

Louis-Dreyfus, 52, nabbed the nod for her role as gaffe-prone Vice President Selina Meyer on the HBO show Veep. It's her second nomination in this category for her fictitious beltway role, and she took home the statue in 2012.

Overall, the actress is the only woman who has won the Emmy three times, for three separate comedy series. She first won in 1996 for her own iconic role – self-absorbed Elaine Benes on Seinfeld – after being nominated four times prior.

In 2006, she grabbed gold for her title role in The New Adventures of Old Christine, and earned nominations (but no wins) for the same role from 2007 to 2010.

But Lucy fans need not despair: even though Louis-Dreyfus broke Ball's record for Emmy nominations, the I Love Lucy star still claims more Emmy wins – for now, anyway.

The groundbreaking comedienne who helped popularize the medium of television took home four Emmys during her career, as well as the Governor's Award in 1989, nearly five months after her death.

We'll find out if Louis-Dreyfus adds to her wins when the 2013 Primetime Emmys will air live from the Nokia Theater L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 22 on CBS.

July 30, 2013

Lucille Ball Comedy Festival Begins Thursday, August 1st

The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival is featuring a Pandora Comedy™ 'Comics to Watch' showcase on August 1, hosted by Tammy Pescatelli, a crowd favorite from the 2012 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. This 8pm show will be "cable clean" and features Keith AlberstadtJoe Machi, and Jackie Kashian.
Joe Machi
The Lucille Ball Comedy Festival has featured then-rising comedians such as Ellen Degeneres, Lewis Black, and Ray Romano in the past and aims to do the same with this showcase.

Jackie Kashian
Tammy Pescatelli was the winner of Comedy Central's Stand-up Showdown 2010, and also a finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing 2. Keith Alberstadt is a contributing writer for Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update and National Lampoon, and also a regular performer for U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe Machi won the New York Underground Festival's "Emerging Comedian" award, and recently appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Jackie Kashian has appeared on the Conan O'Brien Show, This American Life with Ira Glass, and has a half-hour special on Comedy Central.
 Tickets are going FAST, so get yours today at LucyComedyFest.com, or by calling (716)484-0800.

July 26, 2013

Lucille Ball’s Iconic Polka Dot Dress from ‘I Love Lucy’ Up for Auction

The iconic polka dot dress comedy queen Lucille Ball wore as Lucy Ricardo on 'I Love Lucy' is set to auction on July 30. The bidding begins at $40,000, and could fetch as much as $60,000 for the dress that Lucy wore when she had "some 'splainin' to do."

Although there were variations in several episodes, the original dress, designed by Elois Jenssen, featured navy blue and white polka dot print fabric, shoulder pads, and black satin lining. The details of the dress, like white cuffed short sleeves, a white flower collar, a false, pleated, tuxedo shirt front panel, and pearl snap buttons, made it Lucy's signature look as she greeted her husband, Ricky Ricardo, when he arrived home from work and made us all laugh.

But viewers didn't see some of the unique details of the character-defining dress on TV. Lucy's dress also included a false button closure and a scoop neckline, so Lucille Ball could make fast costume changes and keep her makeup from smudging. The auctioneer, Profiles in History, describes it as the "'Holy Grail' of all female television costumes."

This isn't the first item of Lucille Ball's to be on the auction block. Love letters, photos, trophies, and a Rolls Royce were consigned to Heritage Auction Galleries in 2010 by the comedienne's second husband's widow, Susie Morton. Lucie Arnaz Luckinbill, Lucille's daughter, attempted to block the sale. A judge ruled in her favor, but Lucie declined to pay a $250,000 bond for a restraining order. The memorabilia was auctioned, and the lifetime achievement awards were returned to Ball's daughter. 'I Love Lucy' aired from 1951-1957, and the sitcom full of hilarious shenanigans has since been syndicated in dozens of countries around the world.

July 25, 2013

I Love Lucy - Live on Stage in Atlantic City

What exactly is I Love Lucy Live on Stage? It’s a play that takes the audience back to the 1950s at the live taping of two episodes of I Love Lucy. And while the two episodes, “The Benefit” and “Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined,” are the centerpiece of the play, it is the overall format of an audience watching a TV taping that gives the show its added punch.

In many ways the star of the show is Mark Christopher Tracy as Maury Jasper, the Desilu Playhouse host. He is the genial ringmaster with a headphone who tells us what we will see, how the TV studio works and introduces the sketches and the commercials for Brylcreem, Alka-Seltzer and Chevrolet that are lovingly recreated by the Crystaltone singers. So while the main characters are Lucy Ricardo (Sirina Irwin), Ricky Ricardo (Bill Mendieta), Fred Mertz (Kevin Remington) and Ethel Mertz (Joanna Daniels), there are many other characters rushing about the stage, with a couple of ringers in the audience as well.

The stronger of the two Lucy episodes is “Lucy Has Her Eyes Examined.” This is when Irwin really delivers the Lucy Ricardo vibe trying desperately to please a producer during an audition while dancing despite being nearly blind from eye drops. Irwin pulls this bit of physical comedy off to perfection. Mendieta is also excellent as the lovingly exasperated Ricky and his vocal work is spot on. Close you eyes and you will swear you are hearing Ricky Ricardo from an old episode.

I Love Lucy Live on Stage is designed for fans of the series and those nostalgic for the days when life was simpler and less dominated by technology. It delivers on both those fronts. 

Harrah’s Resort Concert Venue

Thurs., Fri. 8pm; Sat. 5 & 9pm; Sun., Wed. 3 & 8pm

How Much: $36, $56.50 & $67